I had quite a time trying to post this quite some time back, and I’m finally getting around to breaking it up to try and find the problem. This one will be split into several parts.
Written: Saturday, May 26 at 17:30
This town of Foncebadon is somewhat typical of many parts of Spain through which we’ve crossed. It is an odd mix of the ancient and quite decrepit with the very modern. In almost every town, we see old stone and adobe brick buildings falling in on themselves. Right next to and attached to one of those where the upper floors now support an assortment of verdant life, we see a beautifully restored home complete with granite window trim and all the finest fixtures. Foncebadon is a bit more striking in that well over half the structures in this small town, where the population probably quadruples each night with the peregrinos, are the ones falling in on themselves. Perhaps the remaining ruins are so ancient that they have some intrinsic historic value. Perhaps they are still owned by families who do not want to do anything with them. Perhaps there are laws prohibiting the structures from being demolished and their parts carted off. I’ll have to figure out how to ask the right questions on this mystery. At any rate, it does leave a rather mixed impression. That Australian fellow I mentioned the other night referred to Spain at one point as a rather poor country. I really do not get that impression with all of the fancy cars and generally well to do looking people. There are exceptions just like anywhere, but generally bustling and vibrant are still words I would use despite reports in the news about troubles in the economy. I think there must be something bad going on with the Spanish Central Bank right now based on snippets of only partially understood news we were seeing yesterday.
That’s it for the logistical stuff about the Camino. I have been a bit caught up in the reality of making our way along while being sick and not all that focused on where my mind and heart are otherwise. I wrestled today with my worries, though. I’ve decided that I am really a supreme worrier. I worry about nearly every little detail sometimes, to which I’m sure Kat can attest. I wake up at night and start worrying about things so I can’t get back to sleep. I think it’s partly why I keep myself so busy in my job a lot of times. When I’m busy dealing with one crisis after another, I don’t have time to sit and worry about the next crises that I just know are around the corner.
So, I was worrying along the trail at different times today. Are we going to find a decent place to stay tonight? Are we going to be sick for 2 or 3 more days if the weather turns? What if the next town has all the places full by the time we get there? We better hurry along, but dang, we can’t hurry because our feet hurt too much? Worry, worry, worry!
I tried to find tranquilo in the middle of those worries today. I would stop along the trail, lean my chin on my staff, look off across the distant green hills, and simply soak in the view. I mostly know in my head that the worrying won’t really accomplish anything for me in the end. But I suppose a part of me sees some benefit in worrying about something ahead of time in hopes I’ll figure out a solution before I get to what I’m worrying about. I don’t guess that really works, and the worrying is probably doing me a whole lot more harm than good. So, how can I be more tranquilo and less preocupado? Does my arrogance have anything to do with my worrying? I think I’ll pick up a worry stone to go along with my arrogance stone and “worry” them a little on the way to the Cruz de Ferro in the morning. We’ll see if I have any insights into either of those two aspects of my life.